Life on the Trail, Mud Lake June 25
Life on the Trail June 26th through the 29th
This week the SBTS crew got some help on the trail from an employee of the Patagonia clothing company. Austin is on an internship program where Patagonia pays him but he works out on the trails with the stewardship. He told me toward the end of the first day that he had never put in a full day of intensive labor before, so I was pretty surprised how hard he worked. For someone who has never done trail work he picked it up really quick and worked hard all day. When our first day was over we walked down the hill back to the boat and motored across Long Lake then made our way back to the parking area. Austin and I got a campsite at the Lakes Basin Campground while Coz and Troy went home. While I got my gear together to go ride Mills Peak I think Austin ate about as much as he could then went to bed shortly after I left. It was the first time I have looped the Mills Peak Trail using Gold Lake road and I barely made it back before dark. I guess I should start my rides before six thirty in the evening.
For the next few days we kept working on the Mud Lake Trail chopping out root wads and moving huge rocks. There are very few sections where we can easily build trail so most of it is really slow going. For the entire week we only built 516 feet of new trail. The entire idea behind the realignment we are building is sustainability, so it doesn’t really matter if we are moving slow as long as we get the job done on time and it holds up for many years to come. A lot of snowmelt moves down the hillside we are working on so we are building parts of the tread out of the biggest rocks we can make fit. It’s not easy to build trails in the Basin but once they are in they sure are fun to ride.
The section we are at now seems to be ran by marmots, almost every morning on the walk in we see several on lookout then they start chirping to warn the others we are coming. They look like really fuzzy overgrown gofers, kind of like the one from Caddy Shack but with better looking coats. They don’t look like they can move very quick, but as long as they stay in the rocks they seem to be fine. Brew got really close to one and was on the hunt but once that marmot hit the rocks it took off like it had on a jet pack, this thing went straight up a 20 foot rock face like it was on flat ground.
Working in the Basin is great. Part of our commute is on bikes while the other part is trolling across Long Lake. I actually caught a pretty nice rainbow trout on the way to work the other morning; it couldn’t get much better for this guy.
Henry O’Donnell, SBTS Crew Leader
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